Exactly a year ago today, a group of scrawny, scraggly, brambly horses stepped off a stock trailer and into the drive way of our barn. I arrived moments after the trailer had pulled out and was told to go check the board and figure out which horse was which. There were 5 names on the board: Robin Hood, Keno, Piper, Bakari, and Tazz. They each had descriptions next to them and my job was to figure out which name belonged to which horse. When I had fnally figured it out, I set out to get the brambles out and groom each one of them. I entered Robin Hood's stall and he was nervous at first, until I showed him I wasn't going to hurt him. I handled him gently and it took me ALL day to get him to looking half decent, and I started to fall in love. We learned he had no teeth, and based on his looks that he was old. We also determined that he was abused in his past and based on how much of his bones you could see, that he hadn't been fed in a while. We set up a food program, where he got fed mashes 6 times a day. We set it up so that his boo-boo's got treated twice a day and the rain rot on his butt got treated once a day as well. I hand walked him every day, over multiple weeks and we slowly started lunging him and turning him out. He was full of spunk and I was amazed at how sweet and trusting he could be after having been through everything he had been through. We became best friends and I fell in love. People began referring to me as his mom and that we were the best mother and son team they had ever seen. We built him up to riding and my first ride on him was bareback and crazy because he was so bony and excited about life, but probably one of the best rides ever. We slowly started putting kids on him. And he gave lesson after lesson after lesson. He has fattened up to where you can barely see his ribs now. His scars have mostly healed, his rain rot is gone, and his trust in humans and his love for me grows every day, like mine does for him. I saved a horse's life and every day I look at him I am amazed that I was able to save him and that I was the one that turned him into what he is today. He is my baby. And today, I got to go to the barn and give him a HUGE jar of applesauce (his fave food), kiss him on the nose, and say "Happy One Year." We had made it. I had let him live one year longer than the universe had wanted him to. Here's to hoping for 3 years, 4 years, and more. Congrats baby boy, you lived one year longer.
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